Got Rice?

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The phrase "Got Rice?" is a term that was coined by Asian American youth in the 1990s shortly after the original "Got Milk?" advertising campaign for the California Milk Board in 1993. The phrase has since come to be used as a symbol for the cohesiveness of Asian American cultural identity and cultural pride, especially on the Internet. It's usually mentioned close to the Asian Pride slogan.

The humor is derived from the fact that rice is a staple food in many Asian cultures. The slogan can thus be viewed as an Asian American cultural response to American media and advertising[citation needed].

There is also a parody song called "Got Rice?" by Joey Lo Flow, often referred as AZN Pride, which samples 2Pac's "Changes".[1]

T-shirt campaign[edit]

While the phrase itself presumably began as Asian American slang, the first notable usage is the T-shirt campaign first started by the Asian American magazine Yolk.[2]

Soon, other Asian American organizations began promoting the phrase and selling similar T-shirt designs. The organizations and their proponents intended for the T-shirts to be a fun way of promoting Asian American cultural heritage:

"Political identi-tees don’t all have to be so in-your-face. The Japanese American National Museum ( in L.A.’s Little Tokyo offers an array of kinder, gentler tees commemorating aspects of Japanese-American heritage both fun and serious. Among the most popular designs, a line of adult and baby tees feature the rallying cry of the lactose liberation movement, "Got Rice?" [3]

Many in the Asian American community viewed the design as evidence of significant progress for the viability of Asian American culture and identity; whereas before identity may have been enforced on Asians via stereotypes from the dominant society, the "Got Rice?" shirts were an attempt by Asian Americans to define their identity and to take back those symbols used to stereotype them.tiple ways to read and deal with stereotyping and even to play with it. [4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Olivia Barker (March 22, 2001). "Eastern Influences Become Icons of Popular Culture". USA Today. 
  3. ^ S. D. Ikeda. "Identi-tees: Stereotypes, Abercrombie & the Chest as a Battlefield". Archived from the original on 2006-03-16. 
  4. ^ Heike Berner. (2003) Home Is Where the Heart Is? Identity and Belonging in Asian American Literature. Ph.D. Dissertation, Ruhr-Universität Bochum.